Jasmine Steiner

SPEAKERS
Rhione Zeixchel, Jasmin Steiner, Jae Rowan

Jae
Okay, perfect. Okay, so I’m here with Jasmin on our weekly birth chat, and we are having an experience some technical difficulties but we are so excited. We’ve been talking about this with you for so long. And I’m actually thrilled.

Rhione
Lets take some deep breaths

Jasmin
Right?

Jae
It was it was a lot trying to get on here thanks for your patience.

Rhione
So happy to be with you, to see you, to know you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jasmin
Of course I’m equally as grateful.

Jae
Yeah, we thought um, if you’re open to starting We can either start with how we met each other, or to start with your birth story, whichever feels the most -great to you right now.

Jasmin
Well, I, I think I can work in both.

Jae
Okay.

Jasmin
About how I got to calling Rhione. Okay, so the birth of my twins I don’t want to go into it as a negative experience. I feel like it was a learning experience I- I felt like I wasn’t necessarily equipped and empowered. During that experience, I didn’t know so much the whole process of birth and just whole process of motherhood, I was just, it was just a very like a blank slate experience. But I also know like in the in the space I was before was like, Oh, I don’t need to know any of these things. And I my own ego kind of allowed this ignorance to exist. That didn’t allow me to have the best experience I feel like and so with my twins I got induced early just because the doctor was like well you know if you want to get induced now you can and I was like, Okay, well, boy, you know have these two babies inside me whatever. And we went in and they they induced the labor and everything but I didn’t progress really and so we end up going into a C section and it even like afterwards I didn’t. I didn’t know like how my body was gonna respond to birth because I’ve never had a baby and like, honestly, what you see on social media is like totally I don’t know I feel like fabricated afterwards like your stomach doesn’t just flatten out like I remember like, touching my stomach and being like, oh my gosh my stomach’s flat. Like that’s great. Like, but I didn’t– I was like laying down you know, gravity was having its way but as soon as I got up, I noticed like, my stomach was hanging over my pants line and I had to like lift it up to see my incisions and I was totally confused. And just overwhelmed with the whole thing that I didn’t understand like, what my body was doing because you don’t really see that on social media, you kind of see like, Oh, look at me like I’m one week postpartum, and my abs are bad. And so just having that experience where I I didn’t feel empowered through the whole, just my whole birth, like the whole pregnancy, I kind of was, I was also kind of in a fearful state because I did have a miscarriage beforehand. And so I was afraid to attach myself too much because I was like, well, anything it can happen, like, you know, like, what if I lose them and then I got attached and what’s the point? And so I kind of had this like really distant feeling with my pregnancy and even afterwards, it took me a while to connect with them. But then I got pregnant with my third and I realized like, I want to do things differently I want to be in a place where I I am knowledgeable of what I can and can’t ask for especially like, you know, like, you don’t have to have your cervix checked every freaking like 20 minutes like they do the hospital because that was something that was very violating for me and caused that is like is a trauma I had to work through myself. And I like that’s why I was like, I want to do this differently. So I like look up like, like midwives around the area. I moved to Oregon, because I was in Texas but then i moved to Oregon. And then I came across three sisters midwifery and I call Brianna and I’m like, hey, yeah, looking midwife. She’s like, oh, we’re not doing midwifery right now. And I’m like, “NO!” but like, we just like connected and I was like, Oh my gosh, she was- I was telling my mom I still remember I was in my room in Austin. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I wish she did my midwife. But they’re not doing it right now. And so I ended up going with, with Amy and then which they were amazing too. And, but then I end up going hypnobirthing. And I feel like hypnobirthing was like the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me a whole nother perspective on birth. And just the incredible amount of strength a woman has within her as long as she can believe that strength she has within her and it allowed me to put the ball back in my court and to heal from- from my prior pregnancy, I was able to connect with my baby in a way I like never experienced I connected with my husband differently. Like even my birth, like it didn’t go the way I want it to. I wanted to have a natural birth and I ended up going to the hospital and having a C section but at the end of the day like I felt even when I was in that experience, like I knew what my rights were what I could- what I could ask for And I was able to keep myself calm with, with with the breathing. And it’s still doing like the hypnobirthing techniques and like, I feel like it made that experience so much better. Like it’s a healing experience for me. And so I’m just glad that I’ve met you guys because you guys changed my life so

Jae
Well, we can say the same thing. It’s been incredible to get to know you and become friends. So we’re super grateful to you.

Rhione
I do remember the first conversation we had, I remember where I was standing and what we talked about, and I was super excited to meet you. And I was really hoping you found just the right thing that you needed. And when you sat with Benjamin in hypnobirthing class. I mean, I feel like crying because it was you were like, fully, just so authentic. You allowed yourself to share whatever came up. And you shared some deep stuff with people that you had just met. And that opened everybody up that opened everybody up and set the tone for the class. And I’m so

Jasmin
Oh, well,

Rhione
I was just so honored, you know, that, that you were able to do that

Jasmin
Well, I definitely feel like it was a very safe space and it felt right, it wasn’t it’s not always comfort, you know, talking about things that I don’t know you kind of have like it. You can easily have a negative light on it. But I think it’s important to share our stuff because we do get wisdom from it. And I think that everybody, no matter what you experience, no matter how grandiose or you know, small may seem to you it’s all valuable to anybody, you know, we all have wisdom. That’s important.

Rhione
Well hearing, hearing each other’s stories, recognizing we’re not alone, I think are really big parts of, of having an experience like being in the hypnobirthing class together, you know, to be able to learn from each other. And I mean, that’s a really big part of what today is about. And we’re so honored that you know, that you’re willing to talk more about your story and share your wisdom with our audiences, you know about these issues facing moms the postpartum mood disorder and you know, how it disproportionately affects black women, you know, women of color, so, Rhione has, where’s our next spot? We’re gonna go this. Well, I think we’re gonna follow your lead, but what we talked about was, you know, you you have experience personally with postpartum Depression. And what do you think is important? I mean, we don’t have a week to talk about it. We have this time now. We can revisit it later. What do you think is important for people who are listening to get, like, from your, from your experience? Was it something in your pregnancy you would do different? Was it your birth, you would do different? Was it how you would set up? Like, you know, a lot now, because you’ve been through it. You know what to look for, you know, ways to prevent it. I would imagine I mean, we haven’t discussed it.

Jasmin
Yeah.

Rhione
This is what I think you know. So, given that, what would you say it’s important to look back at the pregnancy or your life situation or The birth the trauma

Jasmin
I’m never-I definitely. It’s really funny. The thing is you can’t there’s there’s like two aspects of that. It’s like a it’s a tricky question in the sense of I going back like some people, oh, if you go back and do it differently, like I would have gone back and changed anything,

Rhione
Right

Jasmin
Just because of what I learned from it. But like how I learned from it the second time around, I think it starts from conception, like the second you know, you’re pregnant. I feel like there has to be an effort to creating a space for yourself and your baby that

Rhione
oh my gosh,

Jasmin
is positive mental health. And I think like, I didn’t understand the magnitude of what my role was, I was like, Oh, I’m just carrying a baby, but it’s like, no, you’re not just carrying a baby. It’s like your mental state in that. And one thing that was really big that loved about hypnobirthing, it’s like, it teaches you how to like that, like the calm breathing it’s something I still do now and I catch myself tense, I’m just like, and do the counting the counting breaths and I, it really helps me stay grounded. And I think that’s something that, especially now with like everything going on, we just aren’t very grounded. You know, and I think, I think if I, if I could tell anybody wanting to do like for their life, across the board, postpartum depression or pregnant or anything is to ground themselves is to focus on their breath, and to get out of their heads because we kind of like keep our energy up here. And like, bring that energy down and to focus especially when you’re pregnant with pregnant focus on your womb. And I think really just slowing down and like learning to connect with the baby and not- with the twins. I was so fearful simple, what if I just like in anxiety the whole time like that. Thank you. started before they came, right? just realizing, okay, like what is the truth in this moment like they are here right now and I can’t predict the future. I can only enjoy what is the truth in this moment and just being present for it. And you know, it’s still preparing, you know, still doing the nursery and stuff like that, but also just like being in that moment, because sometimes we also were like, I just can’t wait to be done being pregnant, but it’s like, once you’re done being pregnant its done, you know, it happens so fast. Yeah, days are long, but the years are short, you know, they was talking about that. And I think it’s just like being present in that temporary body, that temporary, you know, experience that you’re having. And then even with my birth, I wish I would have been more informed. I think a lot of it is just, just we don’t want to seek more knowledge. I think a lot of times we get to a point, we get out of school and we’re like, oh, I’m not going to learn more. I’m not going to educate myself more and read. And it’s not because like, you know, we’re bad people because that’s not what it is, you know, it just like you get used to in school. Like, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do work that I don’t want to read these things, but it’s actually so beneficial for us. And if I go back and tell somebody like, Hey, you know, like, make sure you’re reading books about your, about your birth, about pregnancy, about labor about, you know what your body’s truly capable of, because I think a lot of women feel disempowered, because they’re like, I don’t think my body knows how to do it. I need to have the medicine I need to have the doctors and everything but not realizing like our bodies are truly capable of birthing. And they and they don’t need intervention or assistance and they don’t need all this stuff that they kind of tell us that we need and that and that it starts from within. It’s not an external thing. And I think we live in a world where everything’s external, like happiness is external. Everything like you need is outside of you. But like when it comes to, especially with your pregnancy, birth, like you know what’s best for you and your baby. And to Trust your body that it knows what to do. You know, and I think that’s something that gives it goosebumps talking about it makes me wanna cry.

Jae
Yeah, that’s all so important. Like everything that you’re saying is so very important. It really underscores that we’re, we aren’t machines, but people are fixing and certainly having that medical care available when you need it is really vitally important. But it doesn’t support that individual approach to recognizing that you know, in your body about yourself and your baby. There’s nobody telling you that, in general, it’s not like your doctors telling you that, you know, when you go to your visits, they’re not saying hey, you know, what’s best for you and your baby? I’m working with you. It’s more like okay, now do this. Okay, now do that. Okay, I’ll tell you what to do when the time is right kind of thing. And, you know, it can leave you so

Rhione
So you’re saying when you When you’re looking back, I love that you said I wouldn’t change anything, because that was my learning. I learned so much. I love that. And you’re also it’s like, you have a bag of wisdom from that and you’re sharing it. And right away I’m hearing you say is even from conception or maybe before conception. You’re relating to the baby or babies to your role as a mother. You’re working an inner game about that inner mindset about what that means. And you think that part of the way to be healthiest in pregnancy is to start right away with figuring out what your inner mindset needs to be. Am I am I right? Am I naming that?

Jasmin
Yes, no, no, that’s exactly. I think. I think just like the self awareness, you know saying is so important. And And that applies And that applies like anything like no matter where you are in your life you have to work at it internally first and that’s kind of I know for a lot of us like it brings up a lot of like sitting with ourselves, brings up a lot of trauma and brings up a lot of uncomfortable feelings sometimes. But it’s like working through that stuff. And I think for me, like working through it and like my whole My, my, my second pregnancy was really my third but my second one that had a baby come out of it. That one was, was transformative because I started so much earlier. And I was was present during it. And it allowed me to connect with her allow me to connect with my husband and I was even like just preparing for birth. This time around. It wasn’t so much like preparing with, oh, I need to make sure I have enough onesies and diapers and stuff like that. It was like, let me make sure I’m, like present in my body. Let me make sure I’m balanced. Let me make sure I’m taking care of myself, like truly taking care of myself, and being disciplined with it. Because we kind of have these situations where we rely on motivation, or people are like, why are you motivated to do things? I’m like, you can’t be motivated to do things because you’re never gonna do anything. You have to be disciplined motivation is fleeting. And if you can’t be disciplined with it with knowing, like, Okay, let me sit down and do my hypnobirthing stuff. I may not want to do it right now, but I know, the long term thing is what I’m trying to achieve, not the short term gain necessarily. And so I think this- I think being mindful of it, you know, I think that was that was the most thing that helped me with because like, I still struggle now with, with like, I have like bouts of like depression, but now I noticed like okay, am I Am I breathing? And am I exercising? Or do I need to rest you know, and just like checking in with myself because sometimes we just go through and we don’t really check in and stop. And we have this like super productivity mindset where it’s like I just need to be going. But it’s like sometimes connecting with our feminine and just being present and just still and, you know, even just exuding creativity, I think it’s something that we we don’t value as much now because it’s not considered productive and productivity is not always helpful when you’re when you’re not in a mind state or your body doesn’t want that in that moment.

Rhione
You don’t need to be Superwoman after you have a baby. Right? You don’t have to do everything people think they have to do everything they have to come home from the hospital put the laundry in get the dinner on act like everything is just the same and that is that is not the healthiest way to take care of yourself to make milk to take care of the babies

Jasmin
Yeah, yeah, I think I think it’s hard to like especially like societally like- lot of people aren’t financially able to even do that, you know, or they have a baby and then their husband has to go back to work and there’s not paternal time off just as like even maternity leave here is so short, like my mom was off for a year and was for six the first six months was paid fully. And the last six months was paid half paid when she was in Germany and had me and it’s like very supportive of the the maternal care and You know, like, and there’s companies here that definitely do it. One of my friends, her husband, he had paternity leave for like three months. And so he was able to help. And I think that is one of the things that kind of is a issue where a woman shouldn’t be having to do all those things, but especially with the way like the home situations are like, we don’t really live close to our relatives, we don’t really have a system like that. And then we, we get home and we have like other kids, you know, or even if you don’t have other kids, you still having to make it up for yourself and do all these things and care for yourself where you know that I mean, it’s like, it’s a luxury to be able to, to have that support. And though it shouldn’t be it should just it shouldn’t be a thing. It shouldn’t be but it is you know, and I think that’s what makes it hard and a lot of women have their baby and then it’s like, okay, you get out the hospitals. I mean, cuz that kind of honestly scared me because whenever I was going on To Amy I was like, well, I’m gonna have my baby and have to go home right away. I was like, Who’s gonna help me? And it kind of scared me because I was like, Well, if I’m in the hospital, I know I have a few days to like help. Right? You know, but it’s not. It’s unsure of like when you go home, that support being there, and some people, you know, have family members that fly in and help them and that’s amazing. I know, some people don’t. And I can, especially the medical system that they kind of cripple for you and all aspects of like, Oh, well, you need all these things to have a good birth. You need us after your birth to take care of your baby. When that’s not really the case. If you have like a healthy like a healthy birth and healthy baby and you’re healthy. You don’t need to be in the hospital for a week. You know, like, you can go home

Jae
or have home care like I have a friend who’s a she’s a from the Netherlands originally and they’re I think they have eight days of skilled care as well as midwives coming into check them. So it’s like the person who’s skilled coming on, does everything from cleaning the house, giving breastfeeding advice to making food. You know, it’s like a full spectrum support that everyone is eligible for. And I know that there’s people working on such things here in the US. I know. Mama toto village is offering that kind of support in the DC area. You know, it’s like both during pregnancy as well as with birth, doulas, and afterwards, you know, I don’t know what’s happening right now with the Coronavirus and that but I do know that it’s, you know, it’s a recognition that people need that support. You know, we can come up with strategies. If you have support during the pregnancy, we can help people strategize. How can you plan ahead so you can reduce your workload when you come home, you know, after you have your baby, but certainly what you’re saying is true, like some people don’t have family Who can come they don’t have friends who can support they, you know, they’re on their own potentially it’s multiple kids, you know, after having a baby. But it shouldn’t be a luxury. It should not be a luxury you have support afterwards.

Rhione
I think that, you know, some people are afraid to say to their friends or to their church community, to their close circle. Can you help me? Can you drop off a meal at my house? I mean, I hope we talked about that in hypnobirthing class. I don’t remember if we did, but that is so important. People want to help. Or people have showers like a baby shower before and they get, you know, they’re gifted with, oh, here’s a stroller, here’s this thing or you need you need all these things. But they could maybe let people know I need support after the birth

Jasmin
after- yes

Rhione
I need help after the birth.

Jasmin
Yes, that should be a thing

Rhione
or I need even I need a-

Jasmin
I was just I was no I was totally agreeing with you. That should be like a thing. And I know like even for me it was hard but you know, it’s crazy since I moved out to Oregon I had I didn’t have to really ask. I like knew these women for a couple of months and they like threw me a baby shower and what was even more amazing was after I had the baby, they came over with food and came over and like took the kids for me and stuff and like, I never experienced that because I kind of like with my twins I kind of all my friends just kind of I didn’t see my friends for months afterwards. And you know, this time around like I had a true like community. And it was just like that’s the type of woman they are they that’s just who they were, you know But I think that was so important because it made it so much easier. I think like, we’ve planned so much just for the baby coming. But we and we plan for the baby, which of course, you have to plan for the baby but like, we don’t plan for the mother like, okay, like how are we going to support her? You know, and and I think that’s where a lot of women and and then think also a lot of women don’t know how to empower themselves to find that time because they feel like they need to Well, I need to be cleaning my house and stuff and like putting that extra stress on them that that like the societal stress of you know, for me, it was like, Oh, I need to look this certain way by this amount of time to be socially acceptable. And if I’m not then I’m like, you know, a failure, you know, because I’m supposed to look a certain way, and supposed to like, feel happy and do all these things and just, you know, and it just it wasn’t like that at all for me after the twins. Like I didn’t look that same way. Like my husband was moving to Oregon, and so I was like with the twins by myself most time especially at nighttime. And so it’s just like a lot of a lot of stress I dealt with and I felt like especially like, women don’t necessarily know how to support each other when their friend has a child and they don’t. Cuz like most of my friends were like, let’s go to brunch and stuff. And I’m like, I can’t go to brunch I have twins You know, and, and it’s just like, it’s, it’s an interesting transition when you go from no kids to kids, and especially when your friends aren’t having kids and your kinda like the one having them. It’s kind of like, okay, you’re like the white elephant of the room.

Jae
Right

Rhione
When we study, postpartum depression and anxiety and who’s affected by that. One of the things that comes up is the feeling of isolation that you just described. It’s like, when we feel isolated, we, those people have more of a tendency towards the depression. And I want to say if you’re pregnant, and you’re listening to this, think not just about your birth, which is very important, but after the birth, how will I not feel isolated? How will I have a friend? How, who’s my support system, and take the time, just the way you take the time to choose a provider that you really care about, take the time to choose your postpartum support. Some people even recommend, hey, interview some therapists in case you want to talk to somebody afterwards. I was like, Yeah, wow. Okay. That’s really smart.

Jasmin
No, I think so that’s that’s like that’s brilliant actually.

Jae
So listening to your story and the things you’ve talked about so far it was having difficulty bonding with your babies in the first pregnancy because you had fear from the miscarriage it was being unprepared for what life afterwards was going to be like, how is your body going to change? What can you expect? What was needed and then not having enough support? And I’m imagining on top of that was sleep deprivation. So it’s like when these things start stacking up together. It leaves someone in a situation if they’re if they don’t have support, if they’re not sure who to ask if they have fears about asking for help, which is something you’ve named Yeah. For, for black women. In some of your posts regarding this, it can leave someone with no place to turn, you know, feeling like where can I turn

Jasmin
And I think that’s like one thing that is that I was really lucky on one of my good friends. He’s a ICU surgeon. And the first thing he told me is like, if you’re feeling these things you like you might be struggling with depression. So just let me know if you ever feeling these things to tell me and I was like, Okay. And literally, like, a week later, I’m sitting there I’m like, I’m like, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m not feeling happy. And I mean it got it. It was really overwhelming at a point but knowing like him telling me like, hey, what your feeling is okay? And having someone that I could trust like, you know what, like, I am feeling this way, was helpful because like, especially within like my a lot of my friends are minorities, and they’re like, hey, that don’t tell the doc really feeling like this. Yeah, and that was that was super helpful, but like, I know They were telling me like Jasmin, don’t, don’t tell them that you’re feeling suicidal Don’t. Don’t tell them how you, you’re feeling these things and like feeling like you want to run away, like don’t tell them that they’re going to take your kids away from you. And there’s like an audio lag. But But and I didn’t want to. I was afraid. I was like, I don’t want somebody to take my kids away because they think I’m a bad mom. I’m like, and so like, I didn’t want to tell them like, I just kind of tell them like, Oh, I was stressed and overwhelmed and stuff like that. And she put me on depression, anxiety and sleep medications. But like, I never opened up to her and told her like, hey, like, I feel suicidal because I didn’t want her to take my kids. Because like that’s happened before and so I just was like, I just talked to my mom about it. I’m not gonna talk to other people because I don’t, I don’t want to have that and that and if you look at like, the Like the top welfare stats where they, where they were taking children out of homes a lot of times is they’re taking it from minority mothers, because they feel like they might be unfit or they may hurt their kids and stuff.

Jae
It’s terrible.

Jasmin
So it’s like kind of like a disparity where, you know, you want to ask, but then even like I grew up with, like my dad, my dad was just like, you don’t go to psychiatry. You don’t you don’t ask for help, like, you deal with it yourself. And so it kind of, you know, it was really hard for me to ask for help even. I mean, Jae, you know that. I’m very stubborn And it was hard for me to let go. And that’s one of the things I really I pulled a card from the hypnobirthing classes that said let go. And so even to this day, I still have that card, and I try to remind myself of that in general. Because it’s that’s something I struggle with is just like letting go. Like, like, and that’s a part of your feminine energy where it’s like, asking for help and like receiving help, like receiving love back. You know, and that’s something that I kind of like have blocked from like, Oh, no, I got it and, yeah, you know, it. It’s just it’s not weakness. It takes strength to ask. And I never thought of it that way I thought I was was weak, or there’s something wrong with me or that people were gonna like, not love me or I wouldn’t be valued, like my worth would go away with that. And, you know, that wasn’t the case. It like your mental state doesn’t determine your worth. Just like your body doesn’t determine your worth like-

Jae
That’s right. And that that’s so important. I think even just saying it again saying it again because Will you repeat that?

Jasmin
Your mental state is not your worth.

Jae
Yep,

Jasmin
and your body doesn’t determine your worth

Jae
Because the the really difficult thing about this is that as you start to spiral down I’m imagining this was true for you. And I know in moments where I’ve had because I’ve struggled with depression in my life I haven’t ever had postpartum depression, but struggle with depression. It’s like as you start to spiral down, the stories you tell yourself are less connected to what what’s really true out there. So it’s like in a situation with postpartum depression where you’re sleep deprived, you’re learning to feed your baby, you’re learning how to take care of your babies. And, you know, this depression starts to overwhelm you. It’s like if you can have those messages clearly In your mind ahead of time that your mental state does not determine your worth. know that reaching out for help, is the best thing you can do. You know, it’s like being a drowning person, you know, like reaching your arm out for help. And knowing what that right help is and where that help is, you know, so you can feel supported and not afraid.

Rhione
I just want to name again, about this kind of support system being set up during your pregnancy. And if you never need it, that’s awesome. But if you need it, it’s there. It’s just like, you hired a midwife or you hired a doctor, you hired a doula, what’s your postpartum support look, whether it’s just a circle of friends, or professionals that you think are really awesome or for you it was great that you had a friend who was an ICU doctor.

Jae
Absolutely.

Rhione
who told you those things!

Jasmin
Yeah, that was a blessing. I think not- i think i to this day had it not been for him reaching out and to tell me that I don’t think I would have honestly recognized it myself. I mean, at a point that it got to the point where like, it was so blatantly obvious where I couldn’t drink water, you know, where I was like, I’m drowning. Like, I can’t drink. I was like, I was getting dehydrated. It was so bad.

Jae
Wow.

Jasmin
And but when you lose the train of thought, it was such a good one but yeah, no, and then even,you know, having my mom there and thank you He said like the isolation adds to it. I think not having that person there like not having my mom had he not been there. I probably definitely wouldn’t have been here. I don’t feel like I would have been here. I don’t feel like had I had the people around me that kept me from falling. I honestly don’t think I’d be here. I was in a very, very, very bad place at points. and I still I still remember it vividly, and I still kind of like breathed that out. You know, like, that’s not that’s not it anymore, you know, but yeah, I think I think like, how you say, like, prepare yourself after, like, what are you doing after? It’s so important. And, you know, and like mental health is so it’s still kind of like taboo, like, Oh, you have depression, like, like, you know, especially the self help. They’re always like, Oh, it’s a mentality thing if you are have this perception, and I do think there’s an aspect of it that is not helpful because I’m, I tended to be an absolute pessimistic person. So it’s like, being depressed and being a pessimist is not a great combination. You know, and that’s something else I had to work through is to find gratitude and to find the positives, and to search for those things because I wasn’t looking for any of that. And it and it’s it was, it was a huge transformation. Like, even now when I struggle, I catch myself. And I’m like, Okay, I need to chill out, you know, I need to relax. I need to stop trying to put pressure on myself to do that. ya know what Hey, husband, can you pick up dinner today? Because I’m getting overwhelmed and I just don’t think I can do it. Like I’m doing my best and This is just not gonna be part of that. And knowing when to ask before it gets out of control, because it’s like, you kind of let it build up, okay, I’m okay. Okay. Okay, the next thing you know, you’re like, I’m done. Like, I’m just, like, breaking down in tears. You know? It’s like, Well, yeah. You know, instead of pushing myself to do everything perfectly to like, perform a certain ways to be have kindness for myself. Yeah,

Jae
definitely

Jasmin
Have that compassion.

Rhione
I like that part about before it gets out of control. So what what would you say are things I could notice as a postpartum mama that with that are like, Hey, this is the time to ask. It’s not out of control yet. What would I notice?

Jasmin
For me I would say it’s definitely when I start to feel-

Rhione
It could be I mean, I’m thinking-

Jasmin
like it moves thing like I definitely feel like like when I’m feeling less patient when I’m starting to, like, get upset easily. That’s definitely something I know. I’m like, okay, like, I’m not grounded right now. Like, I am not balanced, because I’m getting upset. And like noticing that or, you know, when I feel like I want to be on my phone all day. Where it is just like, not be present,

Jae
Right

Jasmin
When it’s hard for me to just sit there with stuff or I see. Yeah, exactly. like trying to distract myself. I think those are like two things for me that I’m just like, okay, like. If I if I notice, I’m okay. I’m getting sucked into my phone. I need, I need a day off. Like, I need to just detach myself from this thing, because it’s not helping. You know, and especially with what’s going on right now. It’s just so much information overload. There’s so much negativity, so much hate so much like, well, you have to agree with this side. And if you’re not, then you’re bad. person and like everybody’s trying to compete on who needs to agree with what perspective and all these things and yeah, you know, pandemic things and you say all stuff, it’s just a lot. And sometimes it’s just stepping back into your own reality. And, and kind of being present with what you can control because when you start trying to like think about all the things you can’t control right now it’s like overwhelming and to like, and to bring your focus to yourself when you start to worry when you’re starting to get anxious and worried and like upset about everything going on. Just bring it back to you and you can only start with yourself you can only change yourself, you can only change your perspective you can change your actions and behaviors and your beliefs. You can’t change anybody else’s and you have they how they say like you Be the change you want to see like it starts with you and that should even just stepping back, okay, I can’t control what’s going on people, I can get tell what’s going on with me.

Jae
So it’s choosing it’s making choices about what you’re going to put on your plate. You know, whether it’s taking time to tune out from everything that’s going on in the world. You know, I was listening to a podcast yesterday with a black woman writer, who’s my age basically think she’s like 56-57. And she said, you know, look, I’ve been reading about this my whole life. I’ve been talking to white people about what’s going on. I’ve been working on this, I need to take a break. I need to take care of myself. No, I can’t be doing this all the time. And you know, so to me, it’s it’s looking at what you can take responsibility for whether it’s just looking at your personal space like okay, I can like wash the dishes or clean or do make dinner and take care of my kids. I can’t do both or I can do laundry today but I can’t cook or whatever, you know, just like look at the reality like maybe it’s you made a giant pot of something and everybody eats that for dinner for like three days. And you know, like just looking at what is real in terms of strategizing what you’re capable of, rather than just expecting like we started out as beginning like, none of us can be superhuman, and I saw a post on your on the Instagram, someone’s saying wouldn’t it be upsetting to feel like the straw that breaks my back. It’s like that idea that we keep loading stuff on expectations. We’re supposed to be perfect and do everything and then all of a sudden that one more thing comes when it’s just like, and all sudden, we’re on the floor. And we realize like, Whoa, I’ve been carrying way too much for too long and now I’ve fallen apart so knowing those cues like okay, I’m like you were sharing Well, for me, it’s like I start getting impatient. I start getting frustrated. I start tuning out tuning into my phone, like understanding our own cues and listening to ourselves to recognize those things and working with those things well before like for you, so With your pregnancy starting with conception or before like to start listening to yourself and tuning in with yourself and staying connected to yourself on so that you know when to say know when to ask for help. And like both of you have been saying about knowing who to ask help from.

Rhione
You know, I just remembered, I just had a memory from Wow. When I was like in my late 20s. That’s a while ago. And it was in that when I was an apprentice, the doctor and midwife that I apprenticed with in their bathroom right next to the office where we did prenatals there’s a bathroom where pregnant people are going pee and and right beside the toilet. There was this beautiful picture and a line on there, which I don’t remember the exact words but what it was saying is, What- What did you do today? Or when people ask you what did you do today? You can know you loved your babies. That’s what you did. It’s just because I needed to hear that for my own self to know like, yeah, the house is a mess right?. Yeah, we’re eating leftovers for the third time. But I loved my babies. Um, yeah, I know that’s not everything. But that was it was a proverb, a proverb from some other culture that actually valued the postpartum the after birth time and thought that the job that A mother did was really really important and we’re supporting- there are other -anyway that was a gift to me that I got to read that and take that into my second and third and fourth baby having time

Jasmin
I totally agree with that though cuz I read this blog –

Rhione
I wonder ya know there’s information about how nutrition especially a omega fatty acids and omega threes can help with our brain because it’s it’s not this is like oh you have a personality disorder when when you have postpartum depression or anxiety it’s the brain needs some specific nutrients to be at its best. And did you find that there were foods or, or nutrients that helped you or that maybe they helped you the second time around You didn’t know about them the first time is that was that part of what you experienced?

Jasmin
Um, I definitely think nutrition plays a part in the Instagram Live went down. I can’t hear you. I don’t know. Really? Can you hear me?

Jae
Okay, we can Yeah, we can hear you.

Jasmin
Okay. Um, yeah, the Insta the IG live like shut down I think my signal dropped on that one. But I think nutrition no matter what, for what it’s always important for me I know like especially when you’re pregnant like you like really want weird stuff sometimes. But you know it’s like being mindful of that. It just in general is how we feed ourselves. If we kind of have this like, well, I want to eat this because I want it. And that’s fine. But you know, it’s like, what am I trying to achieve long term? You know, like, health is not something you choose one day and then you don’t choose, it’s something every day you make a conscious decision of like feeding my body, feeding my mind. And then when you have a baby, it’s like, Okay, this is setting them up. You know, like, people always ask me, well, how you twins eating vegetables all the time. And I’m like, because this is what I’ve set them up with from beginning like, they don’t know anything different. They think this is what everybody eats, you know, and it’s, it’s creating those habits for the long term. For it for me, everything’s about- I learned this from my husband. It’s like everything is about the long term game. It’s, it’s you have to just sit in and like write it out. It’s not about it, affecting you quickly, or, you know, like we want to have those quick diets where it’s like, okay, I lose weight. In a month, but then it’s like, three months later, you’re like back with the weight again, you know, it’s like being consistent and like I say, like discipline with yourself and, you know, taking the things you need to take, like, really being on top of it. I think matters, no matter if you’re pregnant or not, or, like, breastfeeding or anything. It’s, it’s feed. Food is fuel. And for me, eating well, makes me feel good. And I’d rather feel good than you know, like, I eat I, every week we eat pizza, you know, like, I eat pizza once a week. But there’s also day all a plate full of roasted vegetables, you know, there’s a balance, you know, where it’s like, you know, you know, it’s not torturing yourself, like trying to micromanage everything, but I think no matter what it’s like setting a platform and then you’re like your, your child is learning in the womb, regardless of how much we Want to feel like there’s some kind of disconnect? Like, oh yeah, they can hear voices, but they can’t feel our anxiety and when we’re like constantly anxious and not grounded, it’s like your baby thinking, Oh, this isn’t how the outside outside world is, I mean, prepare myself for the anxiety and, and the stress I need to deal with instead of being and and that’s not to make anyone feel bad because I know someone’s good. Like, I know for someone, they’re having a very stressful situation while they’re pregnant. That right now they may be going through COVID and they might be by themselves or, you know, that there’s a situation where it’s, I can understand and we understand why stress will be there, you know, it’s just doing our best. It’s not to say like, just because you’re stressed out you’re a bad mom or something like that is not what I’m trying to say because I know there’s gonna be somebody feeling bad about that and I do not want anyone ever feeling bad about the extenuating circumstances in their life. But whenever you can control It to take that power into your hands and to do your best and whatever situation you’re in, no matter what that looks like, like some people aren’t able to afford groceries right now and they may not be eating a perfect diet, but it’s like just feed yourself.

Rhione
Yeah.

Jasmin
You know yeah, right

Rhione
you get something out of it when you chew it well, so that’s something we can all do. Anyways don’t want to interrupt you, but don’t mean to interrupt you

Jasmin
no, no, no, no, I totally agree with that. Like, my, my son needs to work on that one. But yeah, but that’s, I think the most important part is doing our best and sometimes I think we don’t- there’s a level of Okay, you’re doing your best but could you push yourself a little more like, being uncomfortable is not a bad thing. I tell people like we kind of like shy away from discomfort of like growth. And even if that’s like, Okay, doing everyday the hypnobirthing routines was very like It was a very interesting habit to create, to say the least I was like, Oh my gosh, I got to do this. The the rainbow relaxation, I got to do this, this and this and I’m like, Oh my gosh, but I’m like, okay, Jasmin, but this is something, you’re wanting to change your reality and nothing is going to come easy when you’re told something your whole life where you’re doctrinated and this belief of this is birth is this negative experience that you need help with, that you aren’t capable of. And that pregnancy is just like a burden on your body and then having a baby is this thing, you know? And then you know, and then you have a baby and it’s done. But it’s not like that. It it’s, it’s just tuning in differently. It’s changing your beliefs. And we we all have like kinda like deep, like societal consciousness of like how things are but it’s like going against that is not comfortable. And it might bring up stuff, you know, and it may be triggering as heck. But I for me, like, I always look at triggers, like, first when I first started doing more self work like triggers or something I tried to shy away from, I want to be triggered. You know, like, it doesn’t make me feel good. But it’s like getting those triggers and like sitting with them, like, like, for me, I have codependency triggers, like I get very I hate being alone. And so when I’m alone, I like feel like I need to call somebody or get on my phone or like, I just can’t be present with myself. And it’s like forcing myself through that and just like sitting in like, Okay, I’m feeling anxious right now. But you can be by yourself, you’re okay, like, it’s nothing nothing is wrong. And just like, learning to self soothe, because I think we kind of like forget how to self soothe, you know, if we don’t think we honestly even learn how to self soothe Honestly, I think most of us kind of learn how like push everything away. But it’s like just like sit with our emotions and like get through them. I think it’s even helpful when it comes to birth rates. Like, okay, it’s it’s not something to run away from, like the discomfort you’re feeling, you know those the surges and everything, it’s not a bad thing, just sit with them. And we’ve run from even things like in our daily life to where like it can seem overwhelming when it comes to labor. But it’s like if we can just sit with those things, and just be present with them and stop trying to kick them out. We can handle things a lot better, we have way more capabilities like we are only limited by our own beliefs and our own thoughts in our minds, you know, and I think just sitting with it is so helpful.

Rhione
I love that. I love that you said that it. It’s like when I get triggered. In a way I can remember that as a flag that says, Ah, you can be grateful for this moment and you can sink in a little bit and just be with yourself. And you know, it’s okay. I think if that’s only something you do one minute, or you only do it for five minutes, or what if that kind of Segways into you just do what you can. Like if you don’t have the perfect diet, you do what you can and you chew your food more. And I think gratitude while you eat is very helpful.

Jasmin
mindful eating,

Rhione
mindful eating. I, I know that science or the evidence, I can’t like point to the exact studies in this moment, but the evidence shows that if we want to change a habit, that’s what you were talking about just a little while ago. You want to make a new habit the way you did with hypnobirthing practice or the breathing practice. I’m wanting to change a belief to something that I know is healthier and better for me. It’s really powerful to just do it frequently for tiny bits of time. So we can maybe let’s take the calm breathing, for example. I can just do calm breathing, three times a day for one minute. Like, as a way to begin making a pathway that gives my brain a different choice. And yeah, I think that that’s part of not that that we’re we’re varying into all areas, not just the postpartum depression, but pregnancy-

Jasmin
I think it helps with all of it though. Yeah,

Rhione
All these things are important and Just want to give people hope. Like you don’t have to have all this stuff in place and all the best food and a therapist you can run to and the best support system in the whole world like, you don’t have to have all of that. If you just make baby steps and you do that practice frequently. Like,

Jasmin
I think like for me, like especially if we just plan ahead like, like, every Sunday, I plan my week. And so like I have my cleaning duty, I’ll have the stuff I need to do for my workshops and stuff and like everything set out to where it’s like, I’m not trying to do everything in one day and all the time. It’s like Okay, today you know, especially when it comes like postpartum depression Okay, today I’ll make I’ll message my friend and tell her if she can help me then that with this or let me make sure I do this and just doing small things to where you’re not like sitting there like what am I supposed to do and writing it out to yourself. So you’re not sitting there because when you have like Thoughts about what you need to do in your head, you don’t write them down, it can feel very overwhelming. And so just like getting organized within yourself and your space and like planning, because I can’t plan for everything, but you know, you you go into it with an idea just like you do with your birth you have this idea. And whatever happens, you know, I it’s like being accepting and loving of it and not really, you know, judging of it and that like, oh, what I couldn’t do this and now like, I’m gonna be negative to myself, right? It’s like Okay, you know what, like, just being kind with it’s like flowing it’s like playing it’s like having that masculine planning and everything but then adding the feminine like free flow of like, Okay, well things happen and I just have to approach them with the exact same I said, I’ve been having, ya know, and so

Rhione
Wow, that is great. I love that.

Jasmin
I got that all from you guys. You know that right?

Rhione
No, I didn’t!

Jae
You are instantly wise. You were very wise from the beginning

Rhione
I can’t believe your saying you got that from us!

Jae
We can’t take responcibility for your wisdom. But for me that, um, that brings up wanting to make sure we have time to talk about the wisdom that you’re sharing with people would you be willing to share with us? What kinds of things you’re offering right now mentoring workshops? Share what you have going on.

Jasmin
Yeah. So right now, I’m doing a I’m doing it every other month, I was gonna do it every month, but just like realizing, okay, put choosing what you put on your plate, and I’m choosing not to do it every month for my own sanity. But so for this month, and then starting again in August, I have a mommy mentor group. And it’s just a small group and it’s just allowing moms to feel empowered within themselves because we kind of get lost after we have kids like we give our energy out to our spouses and our families and our all these things. They were kind of sitting there like, okay, now who’s gonna do that for me and like, most of the time, it doesn’t happen like that, you know, and so you’re kind of like sit there with empty tank, but that’s the thing, like, nobody can fill up your tank, you have to do it yourself. And I think that’s the biggest way of self love is self care in the sense of disciplining yourself to create habits that make you feel fulfilled. Because as much as we want to say, like, oh, kids fulfill me like they do, in a sense, but not really, they like there’s a part of you that you need to be you. Like, you can be a mother, you can be a wife, you can be a friend, you can be all these things, but you still need to be true to you. And it’s just allowing people to to find their voice for themselves to speak up for themselves and their needs. And to cater to themselves without feeling selfish. And so that’s the whole purpose of the mommy mentor program is to kind of empower them to do whatever it is whether it’s just they want to, you know, be more active or they want to start a business, my last mom I mentored, she actually is opening up a salon, like, right now. And it’s crazy. Like when we first started talking, she was struggling with depression. And, you know, and now she’s over here doing that and I’m just like, wow, like, you’re amazing. You know, like, she had it in her and she she didn’t realize and I told her that you’re a go getter, just go do it like you, you have it all in you. And it’s just the creating community of women to understand our experiences, right? And to get to where we want to go. And so that’s my biggest thing that I’m doing right now because I’ve tried to keep myself limited.

Jae
Yeah.

Jasmin
With what I’m trying to do.

Jae
Are you also taking one on one mentoring clients are mainly focusing on the workshop right now?

Jasmin
Right now, just the workshop. I like the one on one. It is a it requires more time for me with the one on one because it’s more hyper focused and then Definitely when like the kids get older, I want to go back to doing one on ones that I really enjoy the one on ones. It’s it’s a lot of energy for me to give. And I realized I’m not in the space right now to give it like I would want to to be most beneficial everybody

Jae
The small group will have access to you still but it’s in a balanced way. That’s great. And so how can people best find you if they’re interested in joining your, your mentoring group that’s coming up

Jasmin
they just follow me on Instagram. So @marriedmommymantras. I also have marriedmommymantras.com, which is my blog that I am not that great at keeping up with but there are some really cute little articles I’ve written. I’ve talked about depression. I have a letter about the last time I breastfed my twins, which is very bittersweet for me because I really enjoyed nursing them and it was hard. It was very hard to me to stop. So some people were like what? I’m like, I was so sad the lat 2 years of my life but I really enjoyed it, you know, talked about, like relationships and everything so and other than that those would be the two best places that you can get in contact with me. Thank you guys so much for your time and allowing me to join you.

Jae
It’s just been wonderful. I it’s fed my soul and my heart. So thank you. Thank you so much and just not just for this time, but for the choice you’ve made to contribute to all of us and to like, Shine your light in the world. Yeah, I like Thank you, Jasmin. I’m so lucky that I know you that I got to meet you. Thank you so much. Aww I feel the same way about you guys too! I’m gonna cry. There’s tears We’re super grateful I’ve learned something from you every time I read one of your posts, and I’m really grateful to have gotten to know you and thankful that we’re in each other’s lives. So all right. give hugs to your whole family.

Jasmin
I will

Jae
and say hi to your kids.

Jasmin
I will I miss you guys bye!